By Daniel Guss @TheGussReport
It says a lot that neither of the two men at the top of the City of Los Angeles political food chain actually wants to be Mayor.
Eric Garcetti is the kid from the block who never grew up and flew the coop, having been employed in one form or other at LA City Hall for the past 18 years. Much of his second term has been spent in places other than Los Angeles, and other than California, trying to rebrand himself on the taxpayer’s dime into something other than his elected job title, which is Mayor of Los Angeles the last time anyone checked. And he has not been a particularly effective Mayor unless worsening our already worst-in-the-nation homelessness is among the criteria. Garcetti has been excellent at that.
But it is more telling that the person who would have been his slam dunk replacement, LA City Council president Herb Wesson, doesn’t want to be Mayor of Los Angeles, either. Last week, he announced his bid to become the next LA County Supervisor of the Second District, when Mark Ridley-Thomas is termed out. Mayor of Los Angeles is a vastly higher profile and solo gig.
That’s what we call the nutria abandoning the ship, my friends.
It isn’t that Wesson lacks the requisite skills to do the job of Mayor. He doesn’t. When Garcetti is away, Wesson becomes acting Mayor. He knows everyone, their in-laws and their criminal defense lawyers. He knows where the bodies are buried but didn’t do anything to prevent them from turning into bone piles. Wesson is, and has always been, about keeping the majority of his immediate family employed in the corrupt political machine that is LA City Hall. The fact that he is running – away from the Mayor’s gig – should not be underappreciated.
During his lengthy tenure running LA City Council, more than 97% of votes passed unanimously, often without broadcast of public debate, and during which time he marginalized and significantly cut down public participation, delighting in squelching debate, discussion and criticism.
With friends like that, who thinks it’s a good idea that Wesson have more power as a County Supervisor?
And what does it say that Wesson’s self-identified “best friend,” Councilmember Jose Huizar, has repeatedly harmed the taxpayers by repeatedly engaging in “gland-to-gland combat” with the hired help, had his home and office recently raided by the FBI, and is now a pariah at City Council meetings?
This column was first to expose Wesson’s inability to evade personal financial trouble, with multiple mortgage and credit card defaults, and bizarre real estate transactions in which he and his wife purchased a more expensive home during a deep personal financial crisis which would make getting a new mortgage virtually impossible, let alone affordable. Then there is the issue of his home being misused for documented voter fraud by his son, and City Council Floor Director, Justin Wesson, both of whom also arranged for the misuse of LAPD resources at the younger Wesson’s recent wedding.
And that is the tip of the Wesson iceberg – at least in this column – with more to come throughout 2019. Do you really think that the LA Times doesn’t know what’s going on backstage in Wesson’s universe? To adapt the adage, if you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. But if you read the LA Times, you’re misinformed.
There have been rumors that former LA City Councilmember Jan Perry might run against Wesson. But she is being moved from one mind-numbing job title to another, some think, to keep her bountifully employed and away from the County Supervisor race. If she ran, she would win, at least against Wesson, for more reasons than I can enumerate in this space today.
LA County’s Second District which Wesson seeks to rule is both the smallest in terms of square miles, and densest in terms of population. It needs much better than what Wesson has done to (rather than for) the deeply impoverished in the city, while tamping down the voice of its ever-rising Koreatown community, from gerrymandering its vote to force-feeding it a homeless encampment without consulting its leaders or residents.
Last week, after years of Wesson’s disregard for Korean Angelenos, he established Koreatown Day, to celebrate the place, as opposed to our Korean-American Day, to celebrate the people. Now that’s a politician who knows he has a lot of making up to do!
But by that measure, why not a Chinatown Day and a Chinese American Day? Insert name of every ethnicity and group here.
In the very near future I will file a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and against Wesson personally, for (among other things) repeatedly violating my 1st Amendment rights. In 2019, he will throw a lot of money at trying to get the case dismissed. But if he can’t, it’s a doomsday scenario for him because that means a deposition. And as I wrote last week with regards to Garcetti, a deposition is the last thing someone running for office needs. But a deposition of Mr. Wesson is precisely what Los Angeles needs before its next Election Day.